Ethnopharmacological survey of medicinal herbs in Jordan, the Ajloun Heights region

J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Mar 21;110(2):294-304. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2006.09.031. Epub 2006 Oct 13.


The study of local knowledge about natural resources is becoming increasingly important in defining strategies and actions for conservation of medicinal plants. This study therefore sought to collect information from local population concerning the use of Ajloun Heights region medicinal plants; identify the most important species used; determine the relative importance of the species surveyed and calculate the informant consensus factor (ICF) in relation to medicinal plant use. Data collection relied predominantly on qualitative tools to record the interviewee's personal information and topics related to the medicinal use of specific plants. Our results revealed that 46 plant species grown in the study region are still in use in traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases. Most of the locals interviewed dealt with well-known safe medicinal plants such as Achillea falcata, Matricaria aurea, Majorana syriaca, Allium sativum and Allium cepa. The use of moderately unsafe or toxic plants was noted to be practiced by practitioners and herbalists rather than the locals. These plants include Ecballium elaterium, Euphorbia hierosolymitana, Mandragora autumnalis and Citrullus colocynthis. Kidney problems scored the highest ICF while Crocus hyemalis was the plant of highest use value. Searching the literature evidenced some concordance with the solicited plant uses mentioned by the informants.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Data Collection
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Jordan
  • Male
  • Medicine, Arabic*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plants, Medicinal*